Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My Independent Political Journey

I entered the U.S. Air Force in November 1965 at 21 years of age. I know I didn’t belong in a Party, as I would vote for those candidates that I felt were closer to my ideas on how things should work. I have been registered as an independent in New York, New Jersey, and Seattle, with no true understanding of not taking part in the Political process meant.

I returned to New York in 2000, and setup the continuation of my Information Technology Consulting company, Michael H. Drucker Consulting, that began in Seattle in 1997. But I had decided to become more involved with Politics, and when I went to register to vote, I read about the different Party options I had.

I choice the New York Independence Party. In June 2001 during Partitioning, I was asked to sign the Petition for the 73rd Assembly District. On the Petition, was Carolyn Maloney (D) running for the 12th Congressional District. I was hooked.

Later I was contacted and asked to a reception of the Local New York City Independence Party (NYCIP) and my Political life dramatically changed. I met the movers and shakers of Independent Politics in New York City, State, and now the Country. And became a Political Junkie as defined by John Opdycke, the President of Open Primaries.

The first project I undertook was to build the first website of Jackie Salit, President, of Committee for Unified Independent Party (CUIP), and the first websites of State’s with CUIP Independent Branches. CUIP became IndependentVoting.org.

From that start, the following projects included:

Built The first web page for Omar H. Ali, CUIP’s College Recruitment Leader. Today PH.D. and Associate Professor of African American Politics and History at University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

Built and maintained Jackie Salit's and Dr. Fred Newman’s Talk/Talk Magazine Subscription website.

Worked on Three Campaigns of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, collecting Petition Signatures and other activities.

There are so many people that became part of the foundation of this Journey I have been on. But the biggest mentor has to be Cathy Stewart, the leading Get-Out the Vote (GTO) organizer. Because of Cathy, I was elected as a County Committee Member for the 73rd (Mid-Town East) Assembly District, State Committee Member for the 73rd Assembly District, and NYC Independence Party At-Large Executive Board Member from the 73rd Assembly District.

I have kept a notebook of all the IP Members who have signed the Petitions I carried. The 73rd Assembly District had around 3,500 Members, and over the 12 years, I met many of them. Their stores and my experiences are in my notebooks. In New York, as a Minor Party, you can not collect Petition Signatures on the street. You have to use a Caller and get the IP Member’s permission to collect a Signature. I have walked a dog, retrieve a car from a Signer’s garage, collected a Signature from a Bar, Restaurant, and a selected Street Corner. Spent many hours with Signers in their Homes and listened to their Complaints. After a number of years, Signers would wait for me in front of their House or Apartment on nice nights.

There was a large Starbucks near me. I would use it, at 3pm, as my office, where both Voters and Business Owners would talk to me about their problems.

Started “The Independent View” Blog in April 2007.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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